Iran intends to resume negotiations for the acquisition of a significant number of Embraer commercial E-Jets if the new U.S. president Joe Biden decides to lift the sanctions imposed by his predecessor, Donald Trump. That is what Hossein Gharib, the Iranian ambassador to Brazil, told CNN in an interview.
“Our negotiations with Embraer were advanced in 2017, and we planned to buy between 40 and 50 planes, I believe E-190 models,” said Gharib. “After Trump came to power in 2017, negotiations were interrupted.” The diplomat also revealed that he contacted Embraer’s CEO, Francisco Gomes Neto, about resuming talks to make the deal feasible.
Last year, the same Gharib had declared that Iranian airlines could buy 150 Embraer aircraft, well before the US elections that prevented the Republican’s reelection.
Aged aircraft fleet
Iranian carriers even started a movement to renew their fleets after the 2015 nuclear deal, but as soon as the Trump administration took over the U.S. government, negotiations stalled. Most modern commercial aircraft use important components manufactured by American companies that, fearful of the embargo, preferred to avoid legal proceedings.
Currently, Iran’s commercial aircraft fleet is largely concentrated on outdated models such as the Airbus A300, Boeing 747-200, McDonnell Douglas MD-80 and Fokker 100. The newest aircraft in use are first gen A320s.
There are at least three Embraer aircraft in operation in Iran, all of the ERJ-145 model, two on Pouya Air and which originally belonged to Continental Express (now part of United) and one on Ata Airlines and which was originally delivered to Crossair.